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Amphibians

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Amphibians

  1. 1.  An amphibian is a vertebrate that is ectothermic and spends its early life in water and adult life on land. After beginning their lives in water, most amphibians spend their adulthood on land, returning to water to reproduce.
  2. 2.  The two groups of amphibians are salamanders and toads/frogs.
  3. 3.  They lead “double lives” Fertilized eggs develop in water. Larvae wiggle out of the egg and begin swimming. The larvae undergoes metamorphosis and eventually turns into a frog or salamander. The larva of a frog/toad is called tadpole.
  4. 4.  The respiratory and circulatory system of adult amphibians are adapted for life on land. In addition, adult amphibians have adaptations for obtaining food and moving.
  5. 5.  Amphibian larvae use gills to obtain oxygen from the water they live in. When they transform into an adult amphibian they lose their gills and develop lungs.
  6. 6.  A tadpole has a heart with two chambers, like that of a fish. Adult amphibians have hearts with three chambers. The two main parts of the circulatory system are the atria and the ventricle.
  7. 7.  Most tadpoles are herbivores. However, most adult salamanders, toads and frogs are carnivores that actively stalk and ambush their prey.
  8. 8.  They have strong skeletons and muscular limbs adapted for moving on land. Frogs and Toads have adapted legs for leaping which requires powerful hind-leg muscles and a skeleton to absorb the shock of landing. Frogs and Toads also have adapted webbed feet to help them swim through water.
  9. 9.  Amphibian populations are decreasing. This is due to the destruction of amphibian habitats.

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